MYSTERY surrounds the amount of cash resting in the bank account of a defunct Largs business group - almost nine months after it was closed down.

Independent councillor Ian Murdoch is pressing for answers in relation to returning the balance of funds to local businesses who all paid into the Business Improvement District (BID) initiative.

Over three hundred companies in the town paid an annual fee depending on the rateable value of their premises after a vote to join the initiative six years ago.

The project was the vehicle for a number of initiatives designed to raise the town's profile, masterminding a TV advertising campaign as well bringing a number of festivals such as food fayres, pictured, and a classic car show.

All the directors of the Largs BID steering group stood down in February 2018 and a meeting took place in September where a decision was taken to wind the project down.

But cash left in the bank has still to be returned to firms who took part - with no clarity as yet on how much the balance even is.

Cllr Murdoch said: "At a council meeting in November, now that the BID has come to an end, will the council be involved in returning the balance of funds to the businesses or as the statute states, will it be given to an organisation with a similar aim?

"What has been done to return the remaining BID funds to the businesses in Largs since that meeting and what are the assets?”.

Councillor Alex Gallagher responded told the News that a final set of figures are 'being prepared'.

He added: "The BID company, Largs Matters, is in the final stages of winding up and will be preparing a final set of audited accounts.

"Once accounts are approved and subject to a surplus of funds remaining, arrangements will be made by the council to issue a refund of due amounts to levy payers.”

Cllr Murdoch has asked whether previous directors of the BID company and levy payers would be advised in advance of the distribution of funds, as well as whether an administration fee will be applied.

Councillor Gallagher said that further information on its assets would be known in due course. He added that over 300 levy payers will be entitled to a refund from the residual monies - but that the amount in question was not yet known.

When asked why it had taken so long for the matter to be resolved, Cllr. Gallagher told the News: "The Largs Matters group have to finalise their books. It is a question for Largs Matters to answer.

"There was an effort involving the Scotland's Towns Partnership group to redefine the BID for a second time, and make it more productive, and that has delayed matters."